What a New Year’s gift! A federal court found that the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy of the U.S. Military is unconstitutional. Late on Thursday a federal judge Virginia A. Phillips of US District court ruled on a case brought by Log Cabin Republicans. In an 85 page decision she ruled that the DADT policy violated the First Amendment of the Constitution and due process rights of gay Americans. You can read more about this in an article in the Advocate.
This case has been in process since 2004 and this ruling in federal court comes on the heels of both Judge Walker’s federal ruling on the unconstitutionallity of Proposition 8 and a ruling in federal court in Massachusetts about parts of the Defense of Marriage Act. Both DADT and DOMA are products of the Bill Clinton Administration.
Could we be on a federal roll? Meaning could the federal courts finally understand what we have been saying all along–equality matters and gay people American citizens should not suffer these indignities and oppression. The California Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday at 5:30 pm that the Governor and Attorney General did not have to defend Proposition 8 in federal group. A conservative group tried to force them to do so.
Of course the Obama Administration would do well to jump on this federal bandwagon and speed up the process he set in motion to repeal DADT. Where is Eric Holder our Attorney General. Time to stop enforcing DADT completely. And certainly they better not appeal this ruling. Obama needs to get some strength and moral vision back. Instead he and Harry Reid continue to sell out gay Americans. His whiffle-waffling on marriage equality, Reid’s refusal thus far to schedule a vote on ENDA, the employment non-discrimination act, and this convoluted process of polling soldiers and their wives on a military policy is outrageous. Polling? Soldiers? I thought soldiers took orders from the command. And Obama is Commander-in-Chief. Sign an executive order and be done. Just like Truman did to desegregate the military.
5771 is proving already to be ready to provide gay men and lesbians equality. Let’s pray the next case concerning Prop 8 in the 9th District Court will prove favorable to our cause as well.
2 thoughts on “DADT Found Unconstitutional”
Amen. I have often made the Harry Truman reference when I have argued the same point about creating equality in the military by Executive Order. And as students of political history, we will remember that Truman issued that executive order in August, 1948, less than 90 days before his own very difficult re-election battle–an election that was so close, the morning paper exclaimed “Dewey beats Truman!”
There is simply no room in our constitutional jurisprudence for discriminatory violations of equal protection, due process and freedom of expression.
Kudos to Judge Phillips. And shame on anyone in Congress or the Obama administration who does anything to challenge or undermine the struggle for for civil rights and equality.
I keep reading that the Democrats are concerned because the right wing base is more fired up than the liberal-progressive base. When an issue comes up that can rally parts of the base, Obama is tone deaf. We will know before the election whether his Administration files an appeal on the DOMA ruling. I don’t think the Democrats realized how alienated the LGBT community felt after the Nov. ’08 election when the promise of Obama was matched with the disappointment of Prop 8. The Obama Administration has stated that he still desires to persuade the Senate to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He does not need the Senate’s approval. The Judiciary is a co-equal branch. Judge Phillips opinion is binding, unless overruled. The Executive Branch has the power either to appeal or to decline to appeal. If there is no appeal, then there is no need to subject this injustice to a potential filibuster. “The fierce urgency of now,” mandates allowing this ruling to become final. If Obama appeals, and puts the fate of DADT in the hands of the Senate, his policy would resemble “maybe America will repeal an injustice, maybe not.” That is not change I can believe in.